Wired for Sound & Listening

There is no doing justice to one of Fr. Jeff’s homilies, but not to try is to leave you without the tickling touch of heaven.  He usually is very personal with bits and pieces from his life, this time as a national guard chaplain.  Last week brought the realities of the motor pool to bear on his celebration of the Mass.  He went head to head with the jet sounds of an air pump.  He eventually had to scrap a “really wonderful sermon” (laughing at his humility) in the loosing battle for volume dominance.

The experience was not without its reward.  Fr. Jeff came away thinking of the noisy society that clamors with sound bites and distraction for our conscious attention, while actually driving us to distraction and semi-consciousness.

Morning after morning
he opens my ear that I may hear;
And I have not rebelled,
have not turned back. (Isaiah 50:4-5)

With the words from the scripture still echoing in our ears, Fr. Jeff reminded us of the still small voice that morning after morning speaks to us and the Lord who “opens my ear that I may hear.”

All this week, we will be hearing the salvation story retold once again. Will it be received as so much noise, something we’ve heard before with no special clarity of nuance or message.  Will we “hear the subtleties of the orchestra for the life of our soul and hearts.”

Here again, Fr. Jeff got personal.  This time it was the $40 ear buds he was coaxed to buy with promises of sounds he’d never heard before. “Sure”, he thought somewhat cynically, but took the bait, none-the-less.  He sprang for the pricey thingies.

Once wired for sound, Fr. Jeff listened to his music and heard sonorous sounds he’d never heard before, nuances and subtleties, tone and clarity.  He’d paid the price, and it was worth every penny !  For us in church this morning, it was a clarion call to listen again, to incline an an open ear.  I think of the young apostle John with his ear to our Lord’s heart at the Last Supper.

Jesus’ story is the same year after year but there are subtleties and an ever newness for us this brand new day.  Be conscious, by a prayer and an act of the will! “Morning after morning, he opens my ear that I may hear; And I have not rebelled, have not turned back”

Happy Passover – Seder Primer

This is a learning experience for me, you might as well come along.

Ever since the night before the Exodus Jews have celebrated a Seder, a supper before the Lord and a story told, the Haggadah.

More Happy Passover from the Anchoress

Happy Passover!

New Discovery – Older than the Hills

Look what the Anchoress unearthed. It’s a fascinating look back into time with the recently (1994) unearthing of Gobekle Tepe in Turkey/Urfa,craddle of Armenian civilization.  Just thinking of people 11,000 years ago expending so much effort in an age without machines to worship or appease their gods, makes me wonder at how dismissive our age has become.

Amid all the archeological information on the Smithsonian site, this comment also caught my attention, reminding me that the societal tensions of yesteryear are deeply ingrained in fallen humankind and with us today, tied closely to our ethnicity and cultural undergirdings:

“It is sad that the article talks about the ‘site in Turkey’. 6000 years ago there was no Turkey. 600 years ago there was no Turkey. This site is ARMENIAN. Just another example of how history is being rewritten! It’s a shame. At least the Western scientific world should be more specific to acknowledge the fact that Urfa was the craddle of the Armenian civilization. Too sad, that’s all.” Posted by Gregov

And this:

Turkey? do you really think that mongols who destroyed some of the worlds oldest heritages have a history as old as this? It’s very sad, this site is Armenian and you must address it properley to people and nation who contributed many many things to humankind’s civilization. if you search in what today call’s it self Turkey, you may find that it has nothing on its own, all of the wonderfull sites belong to Armenians, Greeks, Asurians, Urartu’s and etc. I hope they will correct the title no one can stole other nations heritage and culture this easily as Turks are trying to do . . ” Posted by George

The ecological twists of the story also make me uncomfortable.

“There were herds of game, rivers of fish, and flocks of wildfowl; lush green meadows were ringed by woods and wild orchards. About 10,000 years ago, the Kurdish desert was a ‘paradisiacal place’, as Schmidt puts it. So what destroyed the environment? The answer is Man.

As we began farming, we changed the landscape and the climate. When the trees were chopped down, the soil leached away; all that ploughing and reaping left the land eroded and bare. What was once an agreeable oasis became a land of stress, toil and diminishing returns.

And so, paradise was lost.”

I can see Al Gore hyjacking this as the beginning of global warming.

Spies Penetrate Electrical Grid

Spies penetrate electrical grid via Joejolly’s Web Log

The spies came from China, Russia and other countries, and were believed to be on a mission to navigate the U.S. electrical system and its controls, the newspaper said, citing current and former U.S. national security officials.

The intruders have not sought to damage the power grid or other key infrastructure but officials said they could try during a crisis or war, the paper said in a report on its website.

“The Chinese have attempted to map our infrastructure, such as the electrical grid,” a senior intelligence official told the Journal. “So have the Russians.”…


Cockamamie – Interesting

I admit it; I love words.  Here’s what I didn’t know about “cockamamie”:

COCKAMAMIE. “‘Cockamamie’ means something worthless or trifling, even absurd or strange; a ‘cockamamie’ excuse or story is an implausible, ridiculous one. The word may be a corruption of ‘decalcomania’ (‘a cheap picture or design on specially prepared paper that is transferred to china, wood, etc.’), a word youngsters on New York’s Lower East Side early in the century found tiring to pronounce and impossible to spell.” From “Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins” by Robert Hendrickson (Fact on File, New York, 1997).

“Cockamamie is the child’s version of ‘decalcomania,’ dye transfers that youngsters used to put on their hands and arms. Since they were cheap, they soon wore off. So, ‘cockamamie’ first meant anything trifling or second-rate, and later came to mean simply silly or laughable.” From “Morris Dictionary of Word and Phrase Origins” by William and Mary Morris (HarperCollins, New York, 1977, 1988).

Update-Reaching for the Ground?That’s Reaching!

Update-Reaching for the Ground? That’s Reaching!

The White House now believes the American people are blind as well as stupid, as evidenced by their COCKAMAMIE explanation for President Obama’s blunderous bow to King Abdullah.  Cock- and-bull stories work best without pictures and video.